Kowalchuk checks in as coach for Razorbacks

Christian Kowalchuk has a few baseball firsts.  Two are the first and only Saskatchewan baseball player to play in a NCAA Division 1 baseball College World Series(2009), and also, first and only Canadian to date to coach baseball for the Arkansas Razorbacks of the Southeastern Conference, one of the premier conferences in all the nation. Kowalchuk is currently a full time assistant at the University of Arkansas.

Kowalchuk played his first two collegiate seasons at Seward County.  At Seward, Kowalchuk won five national athletic awards as the Saints ace.  Kowalchuk also played on the first ever NJCAA Division 1 USA men’s national team and was on the Athletic Directors Honor Roll every semester at Seward.

Kowalchuk decided to take his talents to Fayetteville, Ark., and pitched two seasons for the Razorbacks.  In his two seasons at Arkansas, Kowalchuk played in 29 games, posting a 2.84 ERA over his two seasons there.

In his first year there he was able to play on the big stage of Omaha, Neb., in the College World Series.

Also at Arkansas, Kowalchuk received his degree in economics, a master’s degree in education, master’s degree in sports management, and an award for Outstanding Master’s Student, achieving a perfect 4.0 GPA.

Kowalchuk spent the spring 2012 as a student coach at Seward County where he says he learned a lot from head coach Galen McSpadden and assistant coach Mike Davidson.

“Both coaches really helped me draw the line between friend and coach.”

Kowalchuk believes that his time at Seward prepared him for coaching at Arkansas because while Seward’s coaches take care of the players they also draw the line.

“They really care about doing the little things right ,and teaching players responsibility. That prepared me to go into Arkansas and know how to treat the player/coach relationship.”

After Seward in 2012, Kowalchuk went back to Arkansas for the 2013 and 2014 seasons to be a student coach.  Those two years gave him a lot of confidence for this up coming year. “Since I’ve been here for two years as a player and two years as a coach, I don’t think there will be any problems that I won’t be prepared for.  Really I’m just excited to have a bigger impact on the team this season.”

Now in 2014, Kowalchuk becomes the fourth assistant in line behind the manager.  Kowalchuk says this season he will be mostly focusing on helping out with the pitchers, but he will also help in offensive and defensive areas.  This season he will be able to be much more involved with the team and thats something he is happy about.  He also is excited to gain more this year saying, “I feel like I will gain even more experience and more in depth view of coaching and have more of an impact on the team.”

Kowalchuk is thinking one day at a time, and he doesn’t have any plans for the next few years.  He knows that if a better opportunity comes up, he will leave Arkansas. As he puts it, “Gotta take it one day at a time because ,so many things are happening everyday as a coach, so I believe that by taking it one day at a time everything will happen at the right time.”